laughing buddha


By Ryan Hutchins

A while back I was thinking about all the concepts that have created the image of who I was.

I thought about my name, the way I look, my beliefs and thoughts, my past and everything that “I” am, and inexplicably I started laughing. A deeply serene and calm feeling filled my entire being. I realized that all the ideas of what I am and how I identified what was me, were nothing more than concepts; they are just part of the puzzle. What we are is so much deeper and more beautiful than we can understand or express, and in that moment I was reminded of that. This laughter reminded me not to take this conception of myself and all the opinions or beliefs I have so damn seriously.

It taught me this image is just a role that I am playing, so I should play with it. It was one of the more powerful moments in my life.

So long as we live right now in this moment, there are no problems. As long as we do not connect our being too fiercely with the image or the idea of ourselves, we will not experience a state of disharmony within or to the world we are a part of. I have found that more often than not if I was to step back or take a more complete view of things as they happen, many frustrations and troubles could be avoided.

For example if something bad were to happen, I may feel upset or angry not that it happened but that it happened to me. If I was to take a wider perspective I might find that it isn’t happening to me, it is just happening, and I am witnessing this happening.

The question once came to me whether or not negative experiences exist solely to remind us to let go of our complete identification of ourselves with the “I” concept.

I have found that one of the most beautiful and healing things we can do is to laugh at ourselves from time to time. Not only can laughter alter our mood and bring us into a state of happiness, but it can remind us of what is truly important in life.

From there, it led me to an idea I called laughing meditation. There is great power in this simple idea.

There is a yoga or meditation for nearly everything these days and I thought this idea fit perfectly within this group. My idea was pretty simple: all we do is think about all the concepts, ideas, pains, memories, desires, etc. that we think make up the basis of “you.” Go as deep as you can, and let it build.

When it all starts to get overwhelming, simply laugh from your belly and let it all go. Imagine all of yourself dying and fading away; you will find that there is still so much left. Beyond all the concepts there is still so much more. Look at yourself in the mirror and laugh at yourself. Laugh at how serious you take yourself. Remind yourself to be fearless and to play. Be flexible and open.

To me, this has been more of a medicine than a meditation.


Ryan HutchinsRyan Hutchins is a San Francisco bay area native who lives with his wife, son and two dogs. He is an avid music lover and enjoys exploring different ideas and perspectives. Some of his favorite hobbies include surfing, hiking and going on walks to nowhere, but has lately rediscovered a love for writing and poetry. He is a vegan and large supporter of both animal and human rights, and is hopeful for the day when all can live both simply and in peace. If you are interested in reading more from him or would just love to share a discussion with a friend, you can find him at or email


Photo: (source)

Editor: Alicia Wozniak